Back-to-back meteor showers make this a great week for stargazing

Eloise Marshall
October 9, 2019

However, look above it on Tuesday evening and you might just spot streaks of light from a shooting star as the Draconid meteor shower peaks.

When is the best time to look for shooting stars? You can wait for the meteor shower with the kids as it will likely fall in between dinner and bedtime.

October features the peak of three meteor showers, with the first, the Draconids, reaching its peak on Tuesday evening into Wednesday.

The International Meteor Organization says people should expect a minor shower with only about 10 meteors per hour, though the Draconids have been known to fill the sky with hundreds of meteors in the past. In 2018 observers in Europe counted over 140 meteors per hour.

Some experts predict that we could or possibly see a small outburst of the Draconids like it did a year ago when it produced 150 meteors in an hour, according to the International Meteor Organization. Last year, observers in Europe reported seeing almost 150 meteors an hour, according to the IMO.

The Southern Taurids and the Draconids meteor showers are active and will be the most visible this week. The Perseid meteor shower that we see in august shows a lot of meteors per hour, but they tend to be smaller because we see so many of them.

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Although unclear, the object appears to fit the description of a fireball, which is a meteor that burns as brightly as the planet Venus in the morning or evening sky, according to the American Meteor Society. They display a bright trail that can last anywhere from a millisecond to a second or so. However, Draconid his best viewed when it is still closer to nightfall as per CNET.

Meteor shower alert! - the Draconids are coming to a night sky near you.

"If you see a Taurid it can be very brilliant and it'll knock your eyes out, but their rates absolutely suck", NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke told Space.com.

For the best views of these meteor showers, try to go somewhere away from light pollution with favorable weather conditions.

Although the moon will be waxing and 78% illuminated - and only five days away from being a full Hunter's Moon - it will be relatively low in the southern sky, leaving the northern sky around Draco dark enough to see any shooting stars.

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